Title: Field Trip

Word Count: 710

Characters: Kaylee/Simon, mentions of rest of crew.

Notes: I wrote this for the Firefly fanfic challenge on my forum (the prompt can be viewed under the fic…)

"Really, Capt'n?" Kaylee grinned at Mal brighter than she had in ages. It gave him a warm fuzzy feeling although he'd never admit to it. Kaylee was, after all, as close to a little sister as Mal was ever going to have and it was his job to spoil her stupid.

"Yes, really. And you can take Simon with you, too." Mal glanced over at the doctor, who was standing several feet away with his sister. "How do you feel about that, doc?" Mal called to him as Kaylee engulfed him in a warm hug of gratitude.

Simon smiled half-heartedly, nodding his head slowly. River took his hand in her own and played with it almost absentmindedly as he answered.

"Yes, okay." He started. "As long as someone can keep an eye on River..." He gently released River's hold on his hand and moved over to stand beside Kaylee, who had returned to fiddling with a heavy-looking engine part.

"I'm sure Inara can keep the girl in check. She's about here somewhere..." Mal glanced towards the Companion's shuttle as he spoke.

"Okay." Simon replied. He sounded convinced, but his expression said otherwise, as did his next words. "So, where is this 'thing' that we're going to? Will there be Alliance?" He focused his gaze on Kaylee, although his questions were directed at the Captain.

"It's a place called Echo, a small planet not far off the rim, near Hera." Mal explained patiently. Knowing the doctor for as long as he had had prepared him for the inevitable questioning. "It's not likely you'll find Alliance there. Echo is a base for some of the Independents, new and old."

Zoe appeared in the doorway leading down to the infirmary and looked on, nodding in confirmation at Mal's last words. "Alliance don't go to Echo often." She added in.

"Oh. Good." Simon nodded, still not entirely convinced.

"What? You're too scared to go off ship now, doc?" Jayne taunted, stepping around Zoe and heading towards the weight bench.

He flung a dusty browned sweat cloth that had once been white down on the floor next to the bench and collected a weight off its stand, lifting it slowly. Placing it down again, he turned to look back towards the infirmary.

"Hey, Shepherd! You comin'?" He yelled, impatiently.

"Yes, yes. I'll be right there." A flustered Book entered and hurried over to join his weight pal, excusing himself as he passed by Zoe.

"You or me first, preacher?" Jayne asked, clearly revved up and ready for his turn.

"You can go first, Jayne." Book smiled at the others and moved over, carefully handing a weight to Jayne who had taken up position, and preparing himself mentally and physically for some spotting.

Taking it as a sign to continue their earlier conversation, Kaylee turned back to Simon. "It'll all be shiny, Simon. There's no need to fret!" Before he could answer, she added on to what she had said. "River'll be fine with Inara, an' if there's Alliance there we can always leave..."

Kaylee gave Simon a pleading look and he finally melted. "Okay, okay! I'm convinced!" He said, resignedly. "I'll go!"

Kaylee grinned even wider than she had before and swept Simon into a hug, startling him.

Mal, who had remained somewhat quiet up to this point, chuckled at the doctors' obvious discomfort and left the pair alone, heading up to the bridge with Zoe bringing up the rear.

"Kaylee - " Simon started, uncomfortable about the sudden physical contact.

She looked up at him ecstatically and it was almost as if she was shining. "Yes?"

"I...uh..." Simon stammered. He was unsure of what to say and not wanting to break Kaylee's good mood and destroy the moment, settled on "Nothing" and hugged her back, somewhat awkwardly.

A few hours later, Kaylee and Simon found themselves staring up at a huge building that looked to be some sort of warehouse. It loomed above them, not looking a thing like Simon had imagined it to be.

Kaylee grinned brightly at Simon and tugged at his hand, moving towards the door. They entered and Simon glanced around them, an engrossed expression on his face. He turned to Kaylee, curiously.

"So, this is where they make cheese?"

A/N: Okay, the prompt for this was cheese... I didn't want to give it away to start cuz then it wouldn't have been so suspenseful with the waiting to see what the field trip was and all.Anyways, hope you liked it and please review! This was my first ever Kaylee/Simon fic!